My Minimalist Makeup Bag (just 3 products!)

Trying to create a more minimalist makeup bag? Looking for travel makeup that won't take up tons of space? These are the three products I absolutely swear by for travel and run-to-Target situations!

Friends, let me be honest.If we’re going to a Beyonce concert, a New Year’s Eve party, restaurant with a maitre de – I will be wearing significantly more than three beauty products. There will be liquid eyeliner, eyebrow filling, and maybe some pore-minimizing magic.

But I spend 80% of my time working from home or running to Target and I’m not sure my fellow shoppers care about my eyeliner game. So I’ve assembled a super quick, super affordable, super tiny makeup kit that allows me to look put together and polished …. and it can all fit in my ever-loving back pocket.

My minimalist makeup bag

1. E.L.F. Concealer + Highlighter
You can use the highlighter as eye shadow (I use two coats) and the concealer is perfect for zit-covering and that around-the-nose redness.  And it costs less than $6!  And it’s tiny!

2. CoverGirl LashBlast
Cheap, waterproof but comes off easily with Cetaphil, wand features those weirdly awesome rubbery, alieny things.  Sold!

3. Benetint Pocket Pal  
Don’t let that embarrassing name dissuade you!  This tiny product is magical.  Rub a few drops of that sweet pink liquid into your cheeks and you’ll look like a fresh-faced Swiss maiden.  Smear some on your lips and top with gloss and you’ll look like a popsicle eating cutie. It’s a little bit expensive but worth every cent.

The best part?  You could probably fit these three products in the back pocket of your jeans.  You could definitely fit them into one of those ridiculous clutches that’s only supposed to hold a credit card and your keys.

What are your absolute favorite products? Tell me all about them in the comments!

P.S. 6 loving ways to broadcast body confidence

Photo by Jake Peterson on Unsplash

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  1. aliceinparis

    I am going to run out and buy some of that benetint! Thanks!
    Also…. in a pinch, you can "pinch" your cheeks to get a bit of colour, just like they did in the old days. It works!

  2. Vixel

    That's great! I'm going to have to attempt to create something similar – I carry *far* too much makeup around with me!

  3. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    Sold! I've been waiting all my life for a post like this : > But – no eyeliner?

  4. Sarah Von Bargen


    I only wear eyeliner for 'special occasions.' I feel like I look "mean and cougar-y" when I wear it! But, clearly those are my issues 😉

  5. melina bee

    wow, those three do make a big difference on you, esp your lips. Are your lashes very light like your hair? that is prob why you don't like to go without mascara (me neither and I have dark lashes)
    I guess for me they are: mascara (I change it up often, usu lash stiletto or l'oreal million eyes); kat von d concealer (great for eyes but also to cover up a tattoo around my family) and bare escentuals mineral veil. If I got to pick a fourth, it'd be nars blush in orgasm

  6. Sarah Von Bargen


    Yeah, my eyelashes are blond and my eyebrows are pretty light, too. Sometimes I dye them with Just For Men Beard gel!

    • Carol

      Beard gel—now THAT is a good tip. My eyebrows are going gray faster than my hair, and no eyebrow liner looks right.

  7. Danielle

    That is HILARIOUS!!! We use basically, the exact same three products! The only difference is I use the BeneFit BeneTint instead of the tube you use…crazy! I would have to agree though, these three products are the best!

  8. Annika


    On a good day, I only use TWO make up products. Rimmel eye brow pencil in Hazel and Bourjois Liner Effect Mascara. :o)

    On a bad day, I may add MAC Mineralize Skinfish Natural Powder and Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush. Or sunglasses.

  9. staceymcbride

    Ooh, I'm going to look for that Benetint. I use the old pink and green cheap Maybeline mascara and have for years. Someone actually commented on it once (after spotting it in my bag) that it was amazing I could use such cheap mascara and get good lashes. I think those cheaper mascaras are secret gems.

  10. Meg

    So inspiring! Generally it's all-or-nothing for me when it comes to makeup. I either go without or put on concealer, blush, mascara, and lip-something (sometimes eyeliner). I guess that isn't much, but being able to carry around just three products would be pretty great.

  11. Claire

    Minimalism FTW 🙂 concealer, lipstick, mascara. Done. Sometimes with the addition of eyeliner if I'm feeling fancy.

    PS — that lip shade is just lovely on you.

  12. Melissa

    I just get overwhelmed and confused around cosmetics so I pretty much never wear them…

    On special occasions I have a bit of powder for the shiny bits, maybe mascara and a bit of reddish eyeshadow. That's about three!

  13. Amy

    The longer I work in a 9-5 job, the less make up I'm wearing – I'd much rather have the extra 10 minutes in bed! I'm down to primer, powder, blusher and eyeliner – enough to make me look vaguely awake and like I actually have a lashline. Love the idea of that benetint pocket pal though, might have to investigate that!

  14. Julia H.

    Yes yes yes! I also go super minimal with makeup (though, admittedly, that's probably because I don't really know how to do much with eyeshadow & the likes). I just use a little bit of undereye concealer to wake me up, then a bit of blush, and some mascara. Perfect! I think women look BETTER without all the goop on their faces. Natural beauty!

  15. Patricia

    Other than a shine-busting, overall tone-evening translucent powder, my bag of tricks usually has eye brightener (kind of a pearly eyeshadow that makes it look like I've gotten more than 4 hours of sleep) and Dr. Pepper lipsmackers (shiny, slightly redder lips and zero chappage? heck yes!).

  16. Chantelle {fat mum slim}

    I'm claiming this the best beauty post I ever did read. Simple. Fresh. Amazing.

    Thanks for sharing.

  17. Karen

    That Benetint pocketpal is my favourite. It's so handy and small.

  18. Elle

    Yep – just like everyone's mom says – less is more!

    Love the LashBlast – best mascara ever. I also like benetint, but I hate how it stains my fingers and also has been known to break open in my purse 🙁

    For my products:
    1. LashBlast mascara
    2. an eyelash curler
    3. Loreal Lineur Intense liquid eyeliner
    & if I'm trying to look extra nice I'll throw on some eye shadow and blush as well – but the brand isn't super important.

  19. Maria

    I will not greet a single soul without curling my lashes. And a little bit of blush goes a long long way. Pinching cheeks help but I also adore Soap & Glory's new Cheekmate.

    Maria xx

  20. Kristine F.

    I almost never wear makeup (I don't like the way it feels!) but when I do, I use also use LashBlast waterproof mascara and Burt's Bees tinted lip balm– Burt's the best!

  21. Bere Parra

    WOW!! I must admit when I read the headline I was a bit skeptical, but when I saw the difference between the no makeup & with makeup photos: SOLD! I'm a Maybelline girl when it comes to mascara but you've convinced me to try this one by CoverGirl. What I love the most about your posts (sorry for the Dr. Seuss tone btw) is that they're ALWAYS practical and very useful, as well as very entertaining and inspiring. Thanks Sarah!! xx 🙂

  22. Kimberlee

    I love E.L.F's highlighter/concealer! It's the best one I can find for my fair skin 🙂

  23. Julie Buz.

    Sarah, you are the bravest woman I know. GRRRRRREAT post!

  24. Morag Lee

    I managed to snag a free shot of the elf highlighter a few months ago and was amazing at the way it made my brow bones pop (my eyebrows are close to my eyes). And after another review of it's amazingness I might need to give it a second shot. x

  25. Camels & Chocolate

    I LOVE BENEFIT. For years after I left my job at Lucky, I still would get boxes of FULL-SIZED products from the company every month…until the recession hit, and now I have to buy it like everybody else =) I also really only travel with three products: Benefit Boing (for coverup), Clinique quickliner (to keep me from looking like a zombie) and Benefit's blush (which I only use when going out at night). I'm really bad at wearing makeup because I'm so lazy and like to get ready to go out in 10 minutes flat!

  26. hollysarah

    Love this post!! I'd love to use only 3 products… I don't use many more, maybe 5 or 6.. but this is fantastic! (and you look fab) xo

  27. LyddieGal

    wow, fabulous transformation! A little goes such a long way. now you need to do my make up.

    Chic on the Cheap

  28. Kristen

    I like Maybelline's 3-in-1 stick (which is discontinued so when I found some online I bought 10 of them) for coverage, blush, and mascara. That's it, it's easy, and it just takes the edge off.

  29. Allison @ With Faith and Grace

    Most days I just use a foundation (Covergirl) and concealer (either Laura Mercier or Bobby Brown) and that's it. I don't need mascara because my eyelashes are naturally dark and pretty long. I only wear it if I really want them to stand out. And then I occasionally wear lipgloss but that stuff feels weird and I usually end up eating / licking it off so I rarely see the point unless I'm going to have my photo taken. Haha.

  30. Ellie Hamilton

    Oh man, I recently discovered the power of a good eyebrow to change how alive you look (LOL), so I use an eyebrow pencil with one of the smudgy ends in a color a little darker than my hair, and fill em in (especially around the outside part, which normally is so fair you can’t see that half in pictures haha). I have pale skin and blue eyes and have been using gray eye liner (again with the smudgy thing, don’t play) and a swipe of shimmery bronze/brown eyeshadow. Covergirl mascara FTW (possibly indoctrinated from all those ANTM marathons), and that’s my 4 item makeup routine! 😀

    On slightly more “put-together” days, I’ll swipe on some bronzer and a bright kiss-proof lipstick.

    Makeup doesn’t have to be so complicated!

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